“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” is what Chicken Little yells when nothing but an acorn falls on its head. Chicken Little decides to tell the king and on its journey other animals join the scared little band of creatures. They all have rhyming names like Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, and Turkey Lurkey, but the names aren’t what’s important. This is a folk tale that makes light of paranoia and mass hysteria, and it doesn’t end well. From the panic of a single acorn, Chicken Little and its friends get invited to a fox’s lair for supposed refuge and end up as lunch. The moral of the story is to not get freaked out, and make matters worse.
Well, the COVID-19 pandemic is no acorn. It’s real and it’s eating our lunch! People are dying, businesses are closing, jobs are being lost, and there’s even a run on toilet paper! Just when I think the church’s doors ought to be wide open, we’ve been told to shut them. I get it, but it feels so sad and wrong, but we don’t want to spread germs and make things worse. Church services, daily devotions, blogs, live-stream and every means imaginable are being used to keep hope strong among the faithful.
If there’s ever a time to need Jesus and proclaim hope, this is it! The Scripture is filled with those who faced adversity and survived, even thrived. Hebrews 11 defines faith and lists quite a few people who lived with confidence in perilous times. Then Hebrews 12:1-3 offers a summation and challenge based upon all the ways the faithful hung in there. It gives all of us the encouragement to keep the faith, too.
It says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
There’s a cloud of witnesses around us, too. Even when we feel alone or isolated because of mandatory social distancing, God is with us, and so is the church. Don’t yield to negative thinking. This crisis can be the seedbed for the next great awakening for America and the world. Spend your time in prayer and Bible reading. Ask God to fill your heart with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. We may have social distancing, but through the union of faithful hearts in the Spirit we will never have emotional and spiritual distancing!
Throw off the sin that so easily entangles like panic, fear, and worry. Sure, my retirement has lost big time, but what good does it do for me to look at that. I would rather sit here and pray through the faces of my family and friends as I look at the pictures around our house or in the church pictorial directory. God knows what each person needs, and I can call, text, or email them, too! I can count my many blessings, as the old hymn goes, and name them one by one! There’s so much that I can do to spend these last days of Lenten season as a spiritual preparation for the best Easter ever.
This is an opportunity to let God recalibrate my life, to get my priorities in order, to give on-line to the ministries and missions of the church, to soak up the Word, and write notes of encouragement to those whom God lays on my heart. I just need to listen, and if I can’t hear His voice now then there’s something terribly wrong with me!
Mostly, I can do exactly what Hebrews 12:1-3 says: I can FIX my eyes on Jesus, what He went through on the Cross for me, and all of us. He is the pioneer and perfecter of my faith, the pathfinder and the road-paver, of what’s important. I’m not going to freak out during this crisis about the future of the United Methodist Church, my pension, or anything else. If I can concentrate on Jesus, it’s all going to be alright! Look what He went through, and how that turned out. Sure, it was horrible on Good Friday, but Easter Sunday’s coming! Take heart! Read: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; I Peter 5:6-11; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 23; Romans 8:28-39; Isaiah 40:27-31; Psalm 46. Pray for revival!
20 thoughts on “The Sky Isn’t Falling!”
Thank you! And Amen!
I was thinking today that perhaps this is a call from God to pay attention and listen to Him…a time for personal and worldwide revival and trusting Him for everything. He loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, who loves us and died for us so we can live forever with Him. A Mighty Fortress is our God! In Him will I trust. Amen.
Amen, Millie! For such a time as this!
Dear Dr Tim,
Your email was so inspiring. I feel energized to continue following Jesus, at a much faster pace. This virus is causing us to stop and look at how we are living our lives. Have I neglected the spiritual side as well as relations with family and friends by working too hard to accomplish goals I have set? The answer is a resounding “YES.” Am I going to do something about turning away from seeking those things that I now realize are not important at all? ABSOLUTELY. Your message has showed me how to strengthen my faith and how to keep my eyes always on Jesus, and my ears listening carefully to the Spirit within me.
We are so blessed to have you as our pastor.
Lee, You are an inspiration! May God answer your prayers and draw us all closer to Him! Thanks,
Wonderful blog, sir. My thoughts, after flying to our dear Lord in prayer, fly (perhaps judgmentally) to Iran, whose “leaders” refused help from a Christian nation (or a quasi-Christian nation), and to North Korea (“let them die”), and to China (the ultimate deniers?), then back home for another prayer. Plus another thousand words unspoken. KP Take care! Thanks for your leadership!
Ken, Thanks and we’ll keep praying through this thing! tim
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Thank you for, “The Sky Isn’t Falling!” Correct on that, sir!
An acorn falling on one’s head can give you a bit of a start. It will not knock you out. While walking a trail at the Audubon Silver Bluff doing my volunteer work, a rather stout pine cone fell about 40-feet off of a long-leaf pine. Bonk! Now, that was a jolt!
I think that there is a “silver lining” that will emerge from this world-wide pandemic. We wait on Him to see the world through this.
I visited six supermarkets today. I was searching for, toilet paper. None available. I searched on-line and, the same was seen, unavailable! Panic buying and hoarding is engendered by this danged virus scare.
May I add a little humor to all of this clamor about finding toilet paper?
I thought of a commercial spot on TV from back in time….”Got Milk?”
“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” I hope that this beautiful rendition will download…If not, simply type it to Google. Enjoy!!
Bob, Nice and God will get us through. 6 supermarkets! Whew! These are weird times, but hopefully we can let God use it for good! tim
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Rev. Tim, the video’s and your words were so inspirational during this difficult time. Thank you and God bless you and family!
Brenda, God bless y’all, too. God is good and nothing can change that!
I needed this today. You always seem to turn on a bright light from God in some of our dark(est) times. I’m not watching tv and reading so much stuff on my phone. It’s alI like the sky is falling. I am reading my devotionals and the Bible along with more talking to God. We are so fortunate to have you as our Minister. You, Cindy, and your family stay well.
Ann, Love you guys, too! I guess Ann Marshall will be home, too. You’re wise to avoid the news. God will get us through. You hang in there!
What a wonderful message! I wish messages like this were all our “friends” at Facebook would allow during this time. So many other tales are going around on the news and facebook. People are more inclined to try to blame someone for causing the virus, than trying to look out for their fellowman. I hope this blog goes worldwide.
Bridgitte, Glad to bring some Good News in this mess. Thanks, and God be with you all!
You are so right! We can all call a friend, or a shut-in, pick up groceries for them, to share God’s love. I hope this pause in our lifestyle will cause all Christians to think long and hard about our calling, and live it out. I hope this serves to bring about a restoration of the beliefs we vowed to uphold when we joined the UMC!
Sue, Well said and Amen! tim
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Yes, Tim. I am using this time for more Bible study. God has allowed this for some good purpose for believers. May it be for a revival in America!
Amen, Ginger! t
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Thank you for your wisdom and spiritual insight to this chaos. May we focus on our faith, family and what all the blessings we have in life. God bless you and your family during this crisis. You are the BEST!
Hopefully, we will all be in church on Easter Sunday to celebrate what God has done for us. His sacrifice for us all is overwhelming. God Bless us all.
Gail, Thanks and am praying for an Easter return of Jesus, us, too, to church! Stay safe and God bless you and Ned! tim
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